How many calories Qdoba chicken bowl with queso?

Quick Answer

A Qdoba chicken bowl with queso can range from 500 to 1200 calories depending on the specific ingredients and portion sizes. A typical chicken bowl with queso, rice, beans, salsa, lettuce, and other toppings is likely to contain around 800 to 1000 calories. The queso adds a significant amount of calories, with a half cup adding around 300 calories.

Calories in Qdoba Chicken Bowls

Qdoba offers bowls, burritos, tacos, quesadillas, nachos and other Mexican-inspired options. The nutrition information provides calorie counts for standard menu items, but substitutions and customization can alter the calories. Here is an overview of the calories in Qdoba’s chicken bowls:

  • Chicken burrito bowl with rice, black beans, salsa and cheese: 770 calories
  • Chicken tortilla-less bowl with lettuce, pico de gallo, corn salsa: 500 calories
  • Naked chicken bowl (no rice/beans) with chicken, salsa, lettuce, cheese: 540 calories
  • Impossible plant-based naked burrito bowl: 460 calories

As you can see, a typical chicken bowl contains around 500–800 calories without queso. Adding queso significantly increases the calorie count.

Calories in Queso

Qdoba offers several queso options:

  • Queso Dip: 130 calories per 2 oz
  • Queso Blanco Dip: 150 calories per 2 oz
  • 3-Cheese Queso: 170 calories per 2 oz

A full serving of queso is generally around 4-6 oz or 1/2 cup. This means just the queso alone can add:

  • Queso Dip: 260-390 calories
  • Queso Blanco Dip: 300-450 calories
  • 3-Cheese Queso: 340-510 calories

So adding a half cup of queso to your chicken bowl can add roughly 300-500 extra calories, putting the total calorie count in the 800 to 1000+ range.

Factors Affecting Calories in a Chicken Bowl with Queso

There are several factors that affect the total calories when customizing a Qdoba chicken bowl with queso:


  • Chicken: lean protein option lowest in calories
  • Steak: adds around 50-100 calories compared to chicken
  • Carnitas: pork option adds around 100-150 calories compared to chicken
  • Plant-based Impossible meat: comparable to chicken

Going with a higher calorie protein like steak or carnitas will increase your bowl’s calorie count compared to chicken.


  • No rice: saves around 200 calories
  • Brown rice: adds around 100-150 calories
  • White rice: adds around 200 calories

Skipping rice altogether or opting for a half serving can help reduce calories. Brown rice adds a bit less than white.


  • No beans: saves around 100 calories
  • Black beans: add around 100 calories
  • Pinto beans: add around 100 calories

You can save calories by skipping beans or limiting to a half serving. Black and pinto beans add a similar amount.


  • No cheese: saves around 110 calories
  • Shredded cheese: adds around 110 calories

Skip cheese or limit to a sprinkle to reduce calories. The shredded cheese adds over 100 calories per serving.


  • Salsa: adds around 20-60 calories per serving

Salsas are lower in calories, so load up on these to add flavor without too many extra calories.


  • Lettuce: adds minimal calories

Use lettuce to make your bowl extra filling and add crunch without calories.

Cooking Oil

  • Minimal added oil: saves around 100 calories

Requesting items like rice and meat be prepared with minimal oil can help reduce around 100 calories.

Tortilla on Side

  • Flour tortilla: adds around 300 calories
  • Corn tortilla: adds around 100 calories

Avoid tortillas or opt for a lower calorie corn tortilla to save calories. Flour tortillas add significant calories.


  • Guacamole: adds around 230 calories per 4 oz

Guacamole adds a lot of flavor but also packs on the calories, so limit portion size if adding.

Portion Size

  • Full serving: up to 1200+ calories
  • Half serving: cuts calories in half

Ordering a half portion is an easy way to slash calories while still enjoying your favorite bowl.

Low Calorie Bowl Options

Here are some ways to create a lower calorie Qdoba chicken bowl even with queso:

  • Start with a tortilla-less naked chicken bowl as the base (around 500 calories)
  • Load up on salsa, lettuce, pico, corn salsa (minimal extra calories)
  • Add half portion or light amount of queso (around 150 calories)
  • Get brown rice or half portion white rice (around 100-150 calories)
  • Add black beans or skip (around 100 calories)
  • Ask for no oil or light oil on rice and chicken
  • No cheese or light sprinkle
  • No sour cream or guacamole

Following these guidelines can help keep your chicken and queso bowl around or under 800 calories while still feeling fully loaded. You can also create a lower calorie chicken quesadilla by loading up on veggies and doing light on cheese and heavy on salsa.

Nutritional Benefits

While a burrito bowl with queso is high in calories, it can also provide some nutritional benefits:

  • Protein: Chicken is a lean protein that helps build muscle and keeps you full.
  • Fiber: Beans, brown rice, veggies provide filling fiber.
  • Vitamins: Onions, tomato, lettuce provide vitamin C, vitamin K.
  • Minerals: Beans are high in iron, zinc, magnesium.

Choosing some healthier add-ons like lettuce, salsa, brown rice can help add more nutrients to your meal.

Healthy Eating Tips

Here are some tips to make your Qdoba bowl healthier:

  • Choose lean protein like chicken or plant-based meat
  • Load up on veggies like lettuce, tomato, corn salsa
  • Ask for brown rice or skip rice
  • Get beans for extra fiber
  • Go light on queso and fatty toppings like cheese, sour cream
  • Request light oil on ingredients
  • Order a half portion or smaller size
  • Avoid tortillas, chips, sugary drinks
  • Drink water instead of soda

Making customizations and watching portions can allow you to indulge in a burrito bowl while still maintaining balanced nutrition.


A Qdoba chicken bowl with queso can range from 500-1200 calories depending on the exact ingredients and serving sizes. While queso adds a significant amount of calories, choosing lighter prep methods, loading up on veggies, and limiting high-calorie add-ons like rice, cheese and tortillas can help create a reasonable 800-1000 calorie bowl. Paying attention to portions and choosing lean proteins, fiber, and fresh produce can help keep Qdoba a healthier option when eating out.

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